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02.10.2019 Europe

Rights groups demand justice on anniversary of Khashoggi murder

Rights groups demand justice on anniversary of Khashoggi murder
LISTEN OCT 2, 2019

International human rights groups have demanded justice for slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying that one year after his brutal murder, Saudi authorities have yet to provide any "meaningful accountability".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, in an operation that reportedly involved 15 agents sent from Riyadh. His body was never found.

Eleven suspects have been on trial in the Saudi capital, with five of them facing the death penalty, but hearings are held behind closed doors and the names of the defendants have not been released.

"Saudi authorities have obstructed meaningful accountability for Khashoggi's murder," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

The New York-based watchdog criticised recent comments by the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which he accepted collective responsiblity for Khashoggi's murder, but denied that he was personally to blame.

"If he's serious, the crown prince and his government should provide transparency into the ongoing trial and reveal everything they know about the planning, execution, and aftermath of Khashoggi's murder," HRW's Middle East director, Sarah Leah Whitson, said.

Amnesty International said Prince Mohammed's admission of "full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia" would remain a public relations stunt if not followed by immediate action.

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